Acetone cyanohydrin is manufactured by the reaction of acetone and hydrogen cyanide in presence of water solutions such as KOH and NaOH. Tthe intermediate product however, is unstable in alkaline solution and hence is treated with sulphuric acid until its pHreaches 1-2. Acetone cyanohydrin is used as an intermediate product for manufacturing methylacrylates, methacrylamide, methacrylic acid and methacrylonitrile among others. Acetone cyanohydrin is majorly consumed in the manufacture of methylmethacrylates (MMA). Methylmethacrylates are used in the production of polymethyl methacrylate. In addition, acetone cyanohydrin finds applications in manufacturing of insecticides, flavoring agents and pharmaceuticals among others.
The market for acetone cyanohydrinwas driven by substantial demand from methylmethacrylate. industry. Methylmethacrylate is further polymerized into polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). PMMA is used in various end-user industries such as electronics & electrical, signs and displays, medical & healthcare, automotive, building & construction, waste management and water treatment industries, among others. Electronics & electrical was one of the major industries for PMMA in the past decade.
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Another major outlet for acetone cyanohydrins was insecticides where it is used as a raw material. Acetone cyanohydrin is used to manufacture ethyl alpha-hydroxyisobutyrate, a pharmaceutical intermediate. In addition, acetone cyanohydrins are also used in the metal separation process in the form of a complexing agent.In spite of this variety of applications, acetone cyanohydrin is usually considered as potentially hazardous chemical as it releases hydrogen cyanide when in contact with water.
These environmental and health regulations associated with acetone cyanohydrins in North America and Europe can have major impact on the market and is likely to hinder the growth of the acetone cyanohydrin market during the forecast period.
In terms of demand, Asia Pacific was the leading consumer for acetone cyanohydrinmarket. China had the largest demand for acetone cyanohydrin market owing to huge demand from methyl methacrylate industry. Huge demand for PMMA has been the key factor for growth of MMA industry. Moreover, other countries such as Japan, India, South Koreaand Taiwan are likely to exhibit more demand for acetone cyanohydrin in upcoming years owing to huge demand from MAA industry. Asia Pacificwas followed by Europe.
Growing demand from agrochemical and MMA industry is driving the acetone cyanohydrin market in Europe. European countries such as Germany, the UK, Sweden and France were the major consumers of acetone cyanohydrin in this region. However, stringent health and environmental regulations associated with acetone cyanohydrin in European Union can act as a major restraint for the market in next few years to come. In 2012, North America had the third-largest demand for acetone cyanohydrin. The North America market for acetone cyanohydrin was led by The U.S.However, acetone cyanohydrin is considered as potentially hazardous material in U.S. Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act which can constraint the growth of the acetone cyanohydrin market in this region.Rest of the World market is anticipated to stable demand for acetone cyanohydrin market in near future owing to demand for PMMA, subsequently driving growth for acetone cyanohydrin in next few years.
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The market for acetone cyanohydrin is concentrated and is dominated by major manufacturers. Some of the key manufacturers in theacetone cyanohydrinmarket areBASFSE, Evonik Industries AG, INEOS, Mitsubishi Chemicals Co. Ltd., The Dow Chemical Company, Tokyo Chemical Industry Co. and UNEP Chemicals among others.